Here we are at the end of Season 1! We made it! Although, to be honest, they probably should have ended the first season on Nash’s vacation to Hawaii so he could properly celebrate letting one of the top ten most wanted criminals in the country off the hook and losing a very important piece of evidence in a major gambling/money laundering/people murdering/record producing scheme. (Don Johnson, if you’re reading, I’m available as a consultant on your next project. Or we could just hang out at Ana Mandara and make fun of tourists, whatever.)
Anyhow, I guess the honeymoon with the ex-wife didn’t go well because we won’t see Kelly at all this episode, but the first wife Lisa is back and she’s super annoying. And I just now noticed that every episode cold-opens with the sound of the foghorn, even though I can’t recall seeing any actual foggy moments in the show. I don’t really have any other DVDs of pre-TiVo network TV series to verify, but I bet this was a trick producers would use in the 90’s to get people to stop microwaving their Hungry Man meals and hurry to the couch.
Back to the show! We open on Lisa, who is returning to the scene of a swanky event she catered earlier in the evening. She’s just popping in to pick up some kitchen supplies she left behind, but it looks like the menu for the after party includes: FRESH MURDER.
DUN DUH DUN. But also – seriously, Lisa? This is like the third gangster who you’ve thrown a party for. “Lisa Bridges: Gangster Caterer” is what her business card says.
After she calls 911, Nash brings in the team to investigate the scene at the home of this guy Linus Mills who we all just saw committing murder. But Linus is just hanging around like nothing happened while Lisa has a minor freakout out on his deck. This should be a pretty simple case (shouldn’t they all?) but there’s a slight problem: Harvey is having a hard time “locating the deceased.” No more Mr. Nice Bridges, now it’s time for Hardknox Bridges:
“So where’s the body?” “ooooh donchoo mess with my man”
So they bring Mills down to the station, but they still haven’t found any evidence against him, and his creepy-calm reaction is to tell Lisa that she should probably see a therapist, but overall it sounds like she’s a pretty good caterer. We also find out that this Linus Mills is a professor at “San Francisco University” and that he just raised a lot of money for a good cause tonight which he’s “gonna use to stay above this.” I don’t know if he means he’s going to use the money to pay his bail or if he’s talking about a slick PR move, but either way he sounds like a total douche who definitely killed someone.
Naturally, Nash and the team’s the next step is to start finding dirt on Linus, but of course that won’t be easy! His birth certificate burned up along with a courthouse somewhere, the university he went to in Bosnia is getting shelled into oblivion, etc etc. So the real mystery is who is this guy who managed to get tenure at a fictional, but presumably accredited institution of higher learning without having any credentials whatsoever? We know he committed the murder (thanks Lisa!), but first Nash has to figure out who he is, then he’ll figure out how he did it. Cheech, ever helpful, suggests they start by asking “that Tarot Card reader on 4th.” And we’re off in the Hemi ‘Cuda!
Through a bit of movie magic, Nash and Cheech leave their Tenderloin offices to drive over the top deck of the Bay Bridge to Berkeley San Francisco University which looks an awful lot like Berkeley, but is apparently somewhere in the city. I could just let this go, but it bugs the crap out of me because later Harvey says he’s going over to UC Berkeley to ask his old professors a few questions and in my mind that’s just too much fucking with the space-time continuum. Anyway, off to college!
Nash and Cheech are auditing Linus Mills’ class which is apparently 30 seconds long because that’s how long his presentation on the death due to brain trauma lasts before the bell rings. (Also, what college has bells?)
“Cause of death seems to be your specialty…”
Nash and Dr. Mills have a nice little smirk-off session in which Mills pretty much admits he killed someone, and that he’s really good at hiding the evidence. Is that how you get away with murder? By just rubbing it in the faces of the police?
Meanwhile, Lisa never did get her kitchen supplies back, so now she’s just going put on her best 1996 Blossom hat and waltz in to the home where she just witnessed a murder barely 12 hours ago so she can play out all her little Nancy Drew fantasies. The chutzpah on this one!
But actually the maid just lets Lisa in while dropping jokes about how much money Professor Dr. Mills makes while she can’t even pay her rent. Lisa is really terrible at snooping, but she manages to slam her finger in a drawer while thumbing through some party photos. She recognizes the dead girl in one of the photos, and the maid – who has no clue a murder happened at the house she takes care of – confirms that Linus has been dying to get that girl to go out with him and that she works at a Dutch Architecture firm in the city.
Before she can leave with all this great new evidence she found, she’s got to put some ice on that finger she just slammed in a drawer. So she just shoves her hand in the ice maker because caterers are very cleanly when it comes to hygiene and stuff, but look what she found!
A diamond necklace! In the freezer! That’s weird, right?
Meanwhile, Mills is up to no good. He’s got a thermos full of something in little plastic bags that is apparently “the only prototype in existence” that his goons are going to test to make sure they work and then “implant them.” Huh? Who? Are these robot chips? Is he building cyborgs?
During a creepy confrontation out on the terrace as Lisa is making her hasty exit, Mills gets all up in Lisa’s face to tell her, “we both know what you saw.” What is it with this guy? He’s creepy enough without telling everybody he just killed someone. Oh and he notices the necklace is gone, so he gets his goons on the phone to let them know she needs to be “dealt with.”
Now that poor Lisa has a target on her back, Nash has to put her in protective custody, but of course she can’t go to some nice hotel with an armed security detail. Nope I guess she’ll have to stay with Nash because his penthouse apartment that has been repeatedly broken into and has no door is definitely the safest place for her. At least Cassidy is excited.
Now Cheech has to go over to the wake for his dead business partner, which is weird because didn’t that guy die like 3 weeks ago? But first they have to stop by “that Dutch Design Firm” which is a lead they picked up out of nowhere, totally independent of Lisa’s snooping. Let me rephrase that – Lisa is the only one that actually went looking for clues instead of trying to mindfuck the bad guy and the one lead she found is totally irrelevant because Nash just pulled the same thing out of thin air. Are we clear? OK, good. Now we can move on to the Dutch who are so ahead of their time with these edgy office designs and looks like the Hitler Youth dressed by Banana Republic:
Put away your boners, boys because we’re here to do some detective work. Nash and Cheech want to check out the desk of the recently deceased Bernika Launders. But she’s not deceased! She’s right here at her desk!
And no, she wasn’t at any party last night. She was at home, but yes that is her necklace – although she thought someone had stolen it from her desk and she has no idea who Linus Mills is. Oh! She realizes they must be mistaking her for Elki Haansen (I’m sure I spelled that right.) – Bernika is a dead ringer for Elki and people confuse them all the time. Oh and Elki must be out sick today because no one has seen her.
So Cheech is on his way to try to make a business deal at a wake (Super classy, Cheech) while Nash and Lisa are off to the home of the dead Dutch designer.
At the wake, we find out that Cheech’s business partner was pretty well connected with the mobsters, that the deceased has too much rouge on and looks like a clown, and that the actor playing him can’t hold his breath to act dead for 3 seconds. Oh and that it’s really rude to try and sell your bar to a dead man’s widow at the funeral.
Meanwhile at Elki’s Dutch Modern apartment: Get down!
One of the shooters gets away, but of course he drops his wallet. Which has a bunch of fake IDs and a security pass to the medical lab at San Francisco University. You know what? That actually could be a real college student.
So now we’re breaking in to the Lab at SFU and Lisa is tagging along, acting like an 8-year-old. But the best part is her terrified face when they find Elki’s body while hiding in a walk-in refrigerator:
Back at the station, Nash is running the paperwork. Mills signed Elki’s death certificate. Really? This lady was at his party, and now she’s dead, and someone thinks it was this guy, but they still let him do the autopsy? San Francisco in ’96 just seems like a terribly lawless place. Anyway, now Nash is looking for a pattern, but Lisa thinks there’s some sort of “Oliver Stone thing” going on. Cheech has his own theory though:
Anyhow, while they wait on some results of Harvey’s computer search (remember when you had to wait for computers to do stuff?) they go to check out Cheech’s new bar since he’s apparently stuck with it now and YUCK this place is a dump! But the manager’s not there, just the guy in the rainbow overalls taking out the trash, and he won’t let Cheech in the bar because “MY HEAD’S GOING TO EXPLODE!” (He says that!)
So we waste a couple minutes on another scene of domestic bliss in the Bridges household. Lisa and Nash cook dinner. Cassidy has a tattooed, punk-rock dude come over to study with her. And Harvey’s showing up with some actual results. Mills has signed three death certificates in the past 18 months. And, surprise! They were all for Northern European girls who died from bullet wounds. (But were they all out on the terrace for the neighbors to see? We can’t be sure.) But the coroner did a new autopsy did find “this little cracker jack prize”:
Some kind of computer chip! Computer chips were the #1 item on the black market in 1996 apparently. Whatever, Harvey is going to meet with his old Berkeley professors in the morning because if they don’t know what it is, no one will. And while Mills is scheming to get his chip back, Nash has heard back from his CIA buddy. It turns out Mills is part of a splinter group that used to work with the DEA tracking down drug dealers and the CIA suspects he’s gone in to business himself. Now normally, this would bug me that all this info didn’t turn up when the guy was being accused of murder, but I get it now, if the government was more efficient we wouldn’t have such great police dramas anymore. From now own I’m gonna blame stalled healthcare reform on the fact that Scrubs is still a TV show that exists.
Anyway, Nash and Lisa reminisce over old case where Joe and Nash had to dress up like Disco Jewelry Dealers and such, but in the morning she seems really creeped out that she woke up in Nash’s bed. No time for a morning romance though because Harvey is on the phone and he’s got something down at the station that Nash is totally gonna dig. And now Lisa is being a total bitch because Nash said she could come along, or don’t, whatever – so she didn’t. But then she decides she does want to play detective, and whoops now you’re being kidnapped
Down at the station, Harvey is talking excitedly about the computer mumbo-jumbo about the computer chips and hwo they could sell for like billions of dollars on a foreign market and, duh they’re probably from that secret government lab in down in Palo Alto. Also, Mills is on the phone and he wants to trade Lisa for the chip with the usual stipulations like “come alone!” Harvey’s plan to follow Nash obviously doesn’t work. that probably has nothing to do with his vehicle:
Nash has a little meeting with some goons that look like “Talent Agents from CAA” and as they pat him down, they manage to miss Nash’s brass knuckles while he lifts the goon’s pistol. Oh you and your magic. Nash breaks in to Mills’ lab, where he’s threatening to give Lisa a lethal injection and send her dead body to Holland (what?). Lame fist fight ensues, but Mills is the one that ends up with the syringe in some place uncomfortable.
With the case all wrapped up there’s nothing left to do but check out Cheech’s Paradise Lounge. Which, as it turns out, is the most popular place on Folsom st.
“Congratulations, bubba! It looks like you’re the proud owner of a gay bar!”
THE END. (Until next week, sigh…)